PATFox (Pioneering AntiSLAPP Training for Freedom of Expression) is a project co-funded by the European Commission and led by the Baltasar Garzón International Foundation (FIBGAR).
PATFox aims to train legal professionals on the legal and non-legal challenges posed by lawsuits against public participation (SLAPPs) in those European countries that, due to the elasticity of their laws, are most likely to experience these forms of abuse of the law (Germany, Malta, Cyprus, Slovakia, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary).
SLAPPs are unfounded or exaggerated legal actions brought by powerful individuals, lobby groups, companies and state bodies with the intention of intimidating, silencing and deterring critical voices that openly denounce issues of public interest, exhausting their remedies. Thus, they take the form of abuses of law that entail high procedural, economic and personal costs for those who suffer them, producing an inhibiting and intimidating effect that can even lead to self-censorship.
The Recommendation (EU) 2022/758 explicitly emphasises the need to train legal practitioners as key actors in strategic claims against public participation.
To fill the gap in this area, PATFox aims to:
- design, develop and implement the first anti-SLAPP curriculum in Europe.
- train 200 legal professionals (lawyers) in 11 European countries.
The project website is available here: www.antislapp.eu